Priest calls on Catholic Church to appoint more exorcists
(The Irish Times) A renowned Irish exorcist and priest has called on the Catholic Church to appoint more exorcists. Fr Pat Collins, a Vincentian, Dublin-based priest, said the church needed at least one trained exorcist for each diocese as he gets messages daily from people looking for his help.
The priest said the Catholic Church was “out of touch with reality” as they are sending “sufferers of possession” to psychologists instead of performing rituals.
Fr Collins told The Irish Catholic newspaper demand for exorcism services had “risen exponentially” in recent years. “What I’m finding out desperately, is people who in their own minds believe – rightly or wrongly – that they’re afflicted by an evil spirit,” said Fr Collins.
“I think in many cases they wrongly think it, but when they turn to the church, the church doesn’t know what to do with them and they refer them on either to a psychologist or to somebody that they’ve heard of that is interested in this form of ministry, and they do fall between the cracks and often are not helped.”
The Catholic Communications Office (CCO) has previously said the church did require that each Irish diocese have a trained exorcist; someone who knows how to distinguish the signs of demonic possession from those of mental or physical illness.
In 2011, the Catholic Church warned that a surge in Satanism, facilitated by the internet, had led to a sharp rise in the demand for exorcism, and a six-day conference on the subject took place at the Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum in Rome, Italy.
CBCP official lauds creation of OFW bank
(CBCP) A special bank opened this month for overseas Filipino workers would be of help to the OFWs and their families, a Catholic bishop said. Bishop Ruperto Santos, chairman of the CBCP Episcopal Commission on Migrants and Itinerant People, said it would provide more protection to the remittances sent by the more than 10 million OFWs around the world.
“It is a valuable help as they can save from higher remittance fees of foreign banks in those countries of work, and they can be protected from investment scams,” he said. The government on Jan. 18 inaugurated the Overseas Filipino Bank (OFB) in Manila which offers a fast, secured, and cheapest remittance system. “With OFB our migrant workers are encouraged to save, to keep their money to earn interests and so they can avoid unnecessary spending,” Santos said.
The OFB was President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign promise to help the Filipinos working overseas, including immigrants and those with residence visas. The President signed Executive Order 44 in September 2017, allowing the Land Bank of the Philippines’ acquisition of the Philippine Postal Savings Bank (PPSB).
The EO then authorized the PPSB’s conversion into OFB, which offers microfinance and micro-insurance products and services for Filipinos abroad. The government is also planning to set up OFB in foreign countries to make it more accessible to Filipinos abroad.
Pope Francis: It is forbidden to replace Mass readings with poetry, testimonies or news
(Rome Reports) Despite the Roman cold, the pope held the General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. A group of Italian children were in the first row, so Pope Francis invited them to ride with him around the plaza in the popemobile.
On the way, his favorite soccer team’s shirt was thrown and he stopped to drink some mate tea from Chaco in Paraguay. Then he continued his catechesis on the Mass and explained the Liturgy of the Word. He says that they are the Word of God, and that is why it is worth paying attention.
Pope Francis, “How many times, when the Readings are being read, we begin to comment, ‘Look at that, look at that, look at what a ridiculous hat she has,’ and we start talking. Is this not true? It’s true! Should comments be made while reading the Word of God? I’m asking you. Is it okay? No! Because if you start talking to others, you are not listening to the Word of God.”
The pope also recalled that it is forbidden for the priest to replace the Readings with other texts, such as poetry, testimonies or news.
Pope Francis, “Somebody says… ‘There is news,’ and brings out the newspaper, the news of the day. No, the Word of God is the Word of God. The newspaper can be read later. At Mass, the Word of God is read. It is the Lord who speaks to us. Substituting His Word with other things impoverishes and compromises the dialogue between God and his people in prayer.”
The pope also said that whoever reads aloud has a great responsibility and he must prepare himself conscientiously beforehand.
Pope Francis, “Look for good lectors, ok? Those who know how to read. Not those who read mi-mi-mi-mi, and you can’t understand anything. Good lectors, ok? They have to prepare and rehearse before Mass to read well.”
Before leaving, he recalled that Sacred Scripture is not only heard with our ears, but also with an open heart. In this way, what is heard can inspire a person’s behavior.